Health Encyclopedia

Choosing and Using Supplements

Americans spend billions of dollars each year on daily dietary supplements—vitamins, minerals, or herbs. Although supplements can help with good nutrition, many people take them without knowing enough to make sure they get the best results. Find out how much you know about dietary supplements by taking this quiz.

1. People who eat a balanced, varied diet each day can get many of the vitamins and minerals they need for good health from food.
2. Taking a supplement can better protect you against cancer than eating foods with the same nutrients.
3. It's best to buy a name-brand supplement.
4. Natural supplements are superior to manmade supplements and worth the extra cost.
5. Check the expiration date before buying a supplement.
6. When buying supplements, choose those with the USP or NSF symbol on their labels, or choose products that have passed ConsumerLab testing.
7. Choose a vitamin-mineral product with no more than 100% of the Daily Value of each nutrient and take no more than the recommended dose.
8. Vegetarians who eat no animal products may need additional vitamin B12 and other nutrients.
9. It's safe to take a dietary supplement without your doctor's approval.
10. Most adults can get all the calcium they need in their diet to prevent osteoporosis.
11. Check with your doctor before taking vitamins if you have a chronic or serious health problem.
12. Store supplements out of the reach of children.

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